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Bribaba's Movie Reviews (138)

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House of Flying Daggers ( Shi mian mai fu ) 
Sharp
3/4 stars

The House of Flying Daggers is a great title for any film, and in this case the finished article more than lives up to the promise suggested. The sets, the lighting, the costumes, the set-pieces; it makes you realise how audiences must have felt when they first encountered sound.

The action sequences are astonishing, even though it's essentially a love story. That's quite enough in itself, but there's also a political allegory running lightly in the background. Light enough, at least, for the film to be considered suitable for export, unlike some of Zimou's earlier, more trenchant works. The beauty of this film is that can be enjoyed on many different levels and, hopefully, by many different people.


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